Beware of New Malware Attack Disguised As Google Bard Ads

Researchers have discovered a Google Bard Ads campaign that is being used by cybercriminals on Facebook to impersonate well-known generative AI brands such as ChatGPT and Google Bard.

The campaign is actually malicious software that is disguised as legitimate ads. Bard is Google’s experimental, conversational AI chat service. It is meant to function similarly to ChatGPT.

New Malware Attack 

On June 18, 2023, A group of researchers from Nexusguard discovered a Facebook Ad showing Google Bard images. A fake Google AI Facebook page posted the Ad.

Facebook users are being tricked into downloading content from fake brand pages and ads.

Similarly, this Facebook ad posted by the Fake Bard AI Facebook page contained a link, which, when clicked, redirected the visitors to a fake Google Bard website. The website then provided a link to download a file and an access code.

These downloads contain malicious malware, which steals their online passwords (banking, social media, gaming, etc), crypto wallets, and any information saved in their browser.

Upon downloading the file, AntiVirus revealed 27 out of 60 security vendors flagged it as malicious.

Nexusguard performed several analyses by executing the malicious in a virtualized environment.

Nexusguard as an organization simplifies “Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Attack” (DDoS) Protection for service providers and enterprises.

It was discovered various files were deposited by malware on the infected machine, which could terminate both chrome[.]exe and chromedriver[.]exe processes.

NexusGuard says revealed that the goal of the malware was to install a malicious extension on Google Chrome which masqueraded itself as a legitimate Google Translate extension to steal credit card information.

Malicious extensions are visible on the Chrome extension page.

Conclusion

The research explains how cybercriminals utilize widely trusted and used social networking platforms.

Though social networking platforms are widely used, users need to remain vigilant, keep abreast of the latest developments, and take proactive measures to safeguard their personal information and online identity.

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